The Opposite of Funny: Enough with the Body-Shaming “Jokes”
I’m fed up this morning and I’ll tell you why.
I have cringed over many a meme that shames a woman for her fat that is exposed. A woman who is oversized by our culture’s standards has no business showing off her body, as we know. If she does, she shall be subject to our modern day hounds of hell in the form of cruel viral memes, vicious comments and ugly body-shaming messages. Perhaps even thousands of them. Hundreds of thousands.
It’s not just women who fall victim to public ridicule. Men are often the subject of these “humorous” pictures that circulate the internet and show up on my Facebook newsfeed. Pictures of women, men, with their butt cracks, or bellies exposed, most certainly unaware that photos are being taken of them and shared on the internet.
Imagine finding that a picture of you, that you didn’t even know was being taken, had gone viral and someone had made memes making fun of you and the social media world was making fun of your body or the way you dressed or the way you looked.
Can you imagine how painful that would be?
We seem to forget one important fact.
These are PEOPLE we are making fun of. There is a person whose image that belongs to, who lives with her self, her body, her curves, her “unacceptable” shape every single day. She has a soul. She has a heart. Feelings, emotions, the ability to hurt, to cry. Just like you.
Turning someone’s body into a JOKE? That is not funny. That’s the opposite of funny.
Can’t we all just wear want we want and be who we are without the wrath of a million judges laughing and making fun of us?
It’s like a giant schoolyard bully session. Having been made fun of most of my childhood, and the ‘star attraction’ of plenty of schoolyard bullying-sessions, I know it hurts. We are grown now. Shouldn’t we be evolved, compassionate adults by now? Why are we still acting like schoolyard bullies?
Let’s stop perpetuating cruelty. What do you say?
When I was a kid, being made fun of or picked on, once in a while a loving, aware grown-up would intervene on my behalf. She would step in and stop the bullying, stand up for me, protect me, and get me out of an awful situation. She would shut it down.
Now we have grown up and become a giant schoolyard of grown-up bullies. Where’s the loving aware grown-ups to step in and intervene? Who’s going to shut it down?
Let’s do it.
Will you perpetuate meanness by sharing body-shaming memes or even “liking” them? Or will you join me to intervene on behalf of the people whose images are being riduculed.
It’s time for the loving, aware grown-ups to step in and intervene.
I’m tired of being quiet about it so as not to offend, as I continue to be offended.
I’m tired of my own complacency.
I fight the fight every day to love and accept myself, and have built my life around helping others love and accept themselves. Yet, we still struggle. And it’s no surprise. A social current that ridicules, degrades and shames in the name of humor is hard to swim against. But we can do it, if we swim together.
I dare you to stand up for the anonymous victim of the next body-shaming meme you see.
I dare you to delete people from your friends list who perpetuate this type of riducle.
I dare you to voice your offense when offended, instead of staying quiet, as to not offend.
I dare you to take a stand against this bullshit.
Excuse my French, but I’m fed up. Our schoolyard bully days are over. It’s time to evolve, to grow up. Enough, already.
Originally published July, 2014